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A behavior chart is a type of tool which can be very useful for managing the behaviors of children. That’s why you would usually see various types of behavior chart for kids in classrooms or homes with children. Although there are contradicting opinions about the effectiveness of such charts, a lot of teachers and parents depend on them to encourage good behaviors and instill responsibility in young kids.
Types of behavior charts
For some adults, they find it easier to achieve their goals when they write these goals down. The same thing goes for a lot of children. Having a visual representation such as a behavior chart will motivate kids to do what they’re supposed to do as indicated on the chart.
A behavior chart template also serves as a great way to monitor your child’s progress. There are different types of printable behavior charts you can use for this purpose. Here are some of the most effective ones:
- Sticker behavior chart
This type of chart is highly effective for younger kids. You can make a list of the good behaviors you want your child to exhibit. Whenever your child performs one of these behaviors. You can involve your child by allowing him to choose the stickers for the chart. In doing this, you will keep him excited and motivated each time he receives a sticker after doing something good.
When making this type of chart, don’t make it too complicated. You don’t have to write down all the days of the week since kids don’t care about those things. As long as they see that they’re earning stickers on the daily behavior chart, they will feel happy. Also, it’s best to use a bright-colored paper for the chart, so you don’t need to print out different colors to make the chart look attractive.
- Behavior and chore chart
Apart from the behaviors, you can also include a few chores to the behavior chart for home. Then each time your child finishes one of the daily chores on the chart or performs a good behavior, you can make a note of it. Pair this with praises and encouragement, and you may soon see your child becoming more responsible.
It’s easier for children to accomplish their chores and do good deeds when they have a visual representation of their progress. But when you’re using this type of chart, avoid nagging your child to do what’s written on the chart. Instead, explain the chart to him and tell him that if he wants to earn the rewards or privileges, he has to put in the work.
- Routine behavior chart
You can also create a behavior chart template which includes your child’s daily routines. List down all of the daily tasks your child should do on his own such as brushing his teeth, dressing up for school, and more. Having this schedule will encourage your child to take responsibility for his actions.
List the behaviors and actions depending on the age of your child. The younger your child is, the simpler the chart should be. If you choose this type of chart, try not to keep reminding your child to do the things written on it. Instead, you can ask him once in a while if he already earned a sticker or a star for one of the good behaviors or if he has accomplished all of his daily chores already.
- Weekly behavior chart
This type of chart works best if you’ve already identified the specific behaviors you want your child to develop. When making a list of these behaviors, phrase them positively. Then every time your child exhibits these behaviors, you can place an indicator on the behavior chart for kids such as a sticker, a smiley face or some other kind of symbol. Then change the chart weekly and make any changes on it as needed.
How to make a behavior chart?
A behavior chart is a type of tool which is easy to use and which has the potential to quickly and effectively modify certain behaviors. Kids love it when they receive immediate feedback and rewards after they do something good. So, if you think a daily behavior chart will work wonders for improving your child’s actions, start making one now.
Remember that you should never use the tool to embarrass or shame your child. With this tool, your child would try his best to earn those rewards. But if he isn’t able to achieve the goals you’ve set, just move on. Otherwise, the chart will end up becoming a negative experience instead of a rewarding one. If you want to make your own chart, here are some steps to guide you:
- Identify the positive behavior/s you want to see your child perform
Think about the positive behaviors you want to see in your child. Make a list of these behaviors and arrange them by priority. It’s best to start with the easiest behaviors, those which you know your child can do without much effort. This will make it easier for your little one to accomplish which, in turn, motivate your child to keep on going.
- Establish the frequency of the rewards you will give to your child
You need to think about how often you will reward your child for the good he does. Younger children may need rewards more frequently. For older kids, you may wait for a longer time. This way, the older child will feel like he earned the rewards he received.
- Think about bigger rewards which you can give after your child masters the behavior
Printable behavior charts can be highly efficient, especially at the beginning. But after some time, the novelty and excitement might wear off. So, you should also think about bigger rewards for your child and introduce them early on so that he/she has something to look forward to.
- Establish goals for your child
Think of a realistic goal for your child and assign the big reward to it. This can be a more challenging behavior which you know your child will have to work harder to achieve.
- Explain the behavior chart to your child
Before you start using the behavior chart for home, explain it to your child first. Emphasize that it’s meant to help him and not to punish him. Also, explain how it’s his responsibility to earn the rewards, and you’re just there to provide gentle reminders.
- Combine the chart with positive reinforcement to keep your child motivated
This is very important if you want to maintain the effectiveness of your chart. Then as you see your child manifest the positive behavior more and more, you can gradually reduce the frequency of the concrete rewards until he only needs to hear your praises.
- If needed, adjust the information on the chart
Making and using such a chart is a trial and error process. So if needed, you may have to adjust or modify the chart depending on how well it works for your own child. But as soon as you see a significant improvement, you may give the big reward to your child and stop using the chart.
Tips for using a behavior chart effectively
Behavior charts for kids can be very helpful in reminding and reinforcing positive actions. Generally, this encourages positive behaviors while discouraging the negative ones. Here are some tips to follow if you want to use your chart effectively:
- Only keep track of a few behaviors
This is especially important for younger children. Work on just one or two behaviors in the beginning. This will make it easy for your child to accomplish what he needs to do in a short period of time. The sooner your child sees a positive result, the more motivated he will feel.
- Choose rewards which you know will motivate your child
Some parents don’t agree with giving rewards to their children. But when used appropriately, rewards don’t have to be a bad thing. Unlike bribes, rewards teach children to work hard so they can earn something good at the end. If you want these rewards to work for your chart, choose those which you know will get your little one excited.
- Establish the connection between the positive behaviors and the rewards
This works well with big rewards. Explain to your child how he will only be able to receive the big reward if he earns it. The only way he can earn this is by performing all the actions and positive behaviors enumerated on the chart. You may have to explain this point a few times before your child truly understands it.
- Stick with patience and consistency
Simple as these things may seem, patience and consistency can be very hard to do, especially if you don’t see a lot of progress right away. But if you want your child to learn the good behaviors, you need to work with him until he achieves the goal.
Even though your child doesn’t get the behavior right away, keep on encouraging him. If needed, show your child how to do those positive behaviors so that he understands the way things should happen in a better way. Also, once you’ve started using the chart, keep on using it each day. This will show your child the importance of the chart and the goals written on it.
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